• Luna - Penthouse (Beggars Banquet)
  • by Laura Lee Davies
  • Time Out (UK) August 95

The press release for this album ends; "Nobody makes musiclike this anymore". When you're already feeling guilty about preferring Luna's graceful guitar poses and Dean Warehams cracked, wearied vocal tone to anything Velvet Underground ever did (when you know the 60s originals are supposed to be the only reason you ever wear black polo necks), it's the postscript you just don't need.

However, while the band's brash guitar edginess has given way - several albums down the line - to a regal New York City reserve, there is an enthusiasm for melodic whimsy in the former Galaxie 500 leadman's present band to which hipsters like the Velvets (or even Tom Verlaine, who makes an appearance on "Penthouse") would never have given themselves over. In the opening "Chinatown" and the lilting "Moon Palace" the album sprawls its soft, sleek self out like a pet waiting to be adored. On the fuzzy "23 Minutes In Brussels" and the sultry "Lost In Space" Luna attempt something more distinctive than merely resting on their own and other (aforementioned) people's past glories. Whatever the mood, though, "Penthouse" is Dean Wareham' achieving low-slung, urban cool without having to try too hard, which is the only way it should be done.